Moons Book Cover

Discussion in 'Cover Design' started by Laurence, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Laurence

    Laurence Grandmaster

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    I just took a first swing at the potential cover for my WIP. Title of book and series very much a WIP too.

    The story follows a family, the mother of whom belongs to an ancient race and has unnaturally long life. This race draws a life force that emanates from planets and initially from the planet's two suns. The mother has a pet fox with a similar lifespan, pictured below.

    Can you guys let me know if you this is detailed enough / would be intrigued by this at all in store or online? I'm predominantly a web designer in my day job so not sure if I'm going too minimal or bland.

    The font should reference the heavy influence nature has on the story. There should be a touch of mystery and, to an extent, peacefulness (since this first book is mostly set at home). Do you guys think that going too peaceful makes it lack intrigue?

    Lastly, Does this look remotely like a fantasy book to you?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. CoffeeFlower

    CoffeeFlower Apprentice

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    Minimal is good. and about the peacefulness...well it's fuel for a mystery/horror tale. FarAway, a kingdom far away and my first attempt at a series, is a peaceful kingdom where everything is perfect, I mean everything, it's like living in a dream...until you are invited to a tea party or another peaceful and cheerful celebration.

    Why Moons by the way? see? you've said so little about your story and you already got one hooked. Lots of questions about this long living mom
     
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  3. Laurence

    Laurence Grandmaster

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    Appreciate it. I’ll let you know more when I have some writing not too lame to show!

    Did you clock the fox in the corner at all or too subtle?
     
  4. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Does it say fantasy? No, not really. But then Fantasy is a gigantic field. "Moons" and "Sun Trilogy" are too generic to feed a guess of the genre, but to me at least, the cover has the look and feel of a literary piece... except the word "trilogy". What subgenre of fantasy are you gunning for?

    Can I see a fox after being told? Sure. Would I pick it up just glancing at this? Particularly in the thumbnail on Amazon? No. How a cover plays in thumbnail and b&w are important. Do I like the cover? Sure, it's fine. The cover isn't going to put me off (and there are plenty in the fantasy listings that do, so that's a small win). If I see it on a FB ad is to going to hook me? No. The combination of cover and title are too generic, and puts heavy reliance on a killer sales blurb.

    The big question is... what are successful books similar to yours doing for covers? Odds are, they're doing what works. And don't look at huge names, check out successful indie authors or midlist traditionals.

    Remember, Game of Thrones nearly died in the US because of its hideous cover.
     
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  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    Moons. And the cover shows flowers.

    If it's minimalism you're going for, I would not have three different fonts on the cover. The title and series title have very generic fonts. Especially with the series title, make sure you have chosen something that will be strong enough to show up against a variety of backgrounds. But I agree with Demesnedenoir--the cover doesn't communicate fantasy at all. And I can't see the verdammt fox anywhere.
     
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  6. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I'm sorry, but this design tells me nothing that points to fantasy, or what type of fantasy, or even what genre the book is about. It's confusing to me as a reader and not even reminiscent of the vague literary fiction book covers. Not trying to offend. Just the first thing that comes to mind.
     
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  7. FifthView

    FifthView Istari

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    Maybe in a future edition, after the trilogy's become established, it would work ok. I do kinda like it; but I feel/suspect that for you this is a tonal book cover? I mean, it expresses the tone you are going for, or something about a thematic feel. As others have said, it doesn't really clue the reader in on much—possibly with the exception of tone. I don't think most readers shop for a tonal feel, heh; this book would be like taking a leap over a cliff into darkness in the hopes that it's not a very high cliff and there's a body of water below, just for that feeling of falling momentarily.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
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  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    3091D1FD-AE6C-4F68-8FA7-6C0750CF82C5.jpeg I like it, personally. I don’t mind that it doesn’t scream fantasy. For example, one fantasy novel I really like has the cover above.

    EDIT: Madre de dios, why is that so big?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
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  9. Laurence

    Laurence Grandmaster

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    The story is adult high fantasy, hopefully. It follows a family seeking asylum. Mother’s blurred roots in a reclusive magical race allows us to watch each of our heroes being introduced to the world’s magic system in their own unique ways as they attempt to reach her homeland, the forest lands of Shehran.

    I only recently worked out that the above is the hook to my story and just how little this cover design described this!

    Thanks for making me think about the thumbnail. I may still hide a fox or something somewhere, but I won't make the mistake of having the hidden element be the only interesting part of the cover.

    No idea what the title will be yet but I'll definitely focus on making imagery, colours, title, font etc. say the same thing on the next design, now that I'm decided on what the story is really about.

    Totally agree on the fonts. I kinda chucked the fantasyish one in at the bottom as I was aware the other two were not on genre enough. This was a result of me hating fantasy fonts - though I fear that without literally showing a weapon of some sort then it's near impossible to say 'fantasy' without one of these fonts.

    No offence taken! I really jumped on this and just drew it as I've kind of fallen in love with the forest and this fox. I didn't consider the importance of actually making a fantasy book look like a fantasy book.

    Time to do my market research!

    You read my mind regarding editions...I was thinking about a route in which I could use the same style with different hidden characters for each book of the trilogy - never mind the fact that this is the first draft of my first book!

    You're absolutely right regarding tone and theme, though I think now that perhaps even that's off the mark if I want any of it to be visible in a thumbnail.

    Thanks and that sure is a nice cover! For now though I'm going to keep in mind the marketing side of things and try to cater to as many passers by as possible rather than the few people with the same tastes as me who have the cover pushed in front of them.
     
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Nothing wrong with going after the biggest market share, though to be hones one reason I picked up The Vorrh is that it was shelved in fantasy and had a unique cover, not ‘generic fantasy cover #12.” That’s what drew my eye to it, though of course every buyer’s reaction will be different.
     
  11. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Well, Catling himself calls the book surrealist with a ... "Fantasy? Whatever," kind of approach. And of course, it was being pushed by Penguin/Random House. I do have a thing for moons and their phase, so I dig that. And what actually says fantasy? A blurb on the cover! The title suggests fantasy or Sci-fi (or literary surrealism, I guess), but it's really the blurb that does the work. The rest of cover says "Literary" to me.

    And when I say pushed by Penguin, I mean PUSHED. This IMO is an attempt by Penguin to "shift" what they see as literary art into a genre with better sales, shooting for a big crossover. I recall seeing this cover a couple years ago and passing on the book.

    Now, let's see what Amazon/Publishers did with the book for categories... I find this interesting after studying this crap, LOL.

    Fantasy>Romantic
    Literary
    Lit & Fiction>Genre>Historical
     
  12. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    I could see that if in a store and it's sitting on the shelf, but it will depend on the day and my mood, LOL.

     
  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    It’s basically literary fantasy. There’s no way it is historical—if you read it you’ll laugh at that. There are strange underground robots, sentient objects, and other strange creatures. I didn’t see the blurb until the cover had already caught my attention, but the blurb piqued my interest further.
     
  14. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Like I say, I like the cover. And it fits literary fantasy well enough. But I wouldn't hold it out as an example for an indie author shooting at the high fantasy genre. Better luck with an Umberto Eco reader, some of his later books anyhow.

    And oh yeah, the Amazon categories are horrific. A lot of big pub books don't pay too much attention to this, or something. They're big, probably don't matter so much for them, heh heh.
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    They don’t pay much attention, or else they just try for categories they’re hoping might have interested readers, whether it really fits the work or not. The Vorrh does deal with issues of colonialism, so maybe they think historical fic readers will be attracted. I’m doubtful, because it is so clearly not historical fic that I think readers will instead be baffled as to why it is there.
     
  16. Laurence

    Laurence Grandmaster

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    Do you guys think anyone decides they're going to write literary fantasy?

    The definitions I've read essentially describe it as fantasy with well written prose, deep characters and some meaning behind the story. Aren't we all attempting this?
     
  17. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    That's not a very good definition.

    As I understand it, literary fantasy is heavier on theme, looks for more intimate moments instead of a focus on the action, and seeks to make a "change" in the reader instead of just the characters. Whether it actually succeeds at doing so, or if the line between literary and commercial is really that strong or important (and does commercial fiction NOT make an impact on the reader? All the fandoms suggest otherwise to me?), and whatever else, is up to a lot of debate.
     
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  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yes. And I think literary fiction is generally meant to comment in some way on real world social, political, scientific, or other matters in ways that other fiction may not necessarily do.
     
  19. Laurence

    Laurence Grandmaster

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    Interesting. I’m not sure I understand though why that would allow literary fantasy books to use covers that don’t look like fantasy?
     
  20. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I'm not sure it allows it or disallows it. I think the publisher just wanted a cover that looked different from what one usually sees in fantasy. Something distinctive.
     
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